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Google Music download sales growing

Google has revealed that its online music service, Google Music, is bucking the industry trend of diminishing download sales.

Physical music ownership has been on the decline for years, with more and more listeners turning to streaming services like Spotify – regardless of what Taylor Swift has to say on the matter.

But Google seems to be running counter to industry trends. In fact, for the Google Music service, MP3 download sales are increasing.

Zehavah Levine, Google’s VP of Global Music Partnerships, recently spoke on the matter at the SF MusicTech conference. There she told TechCrunch that “Not only are our subscribers growing but our download numbers are growing despite the industry trend.”

Google Music offers something of a holistic online music service, combining a Spotify-like subscription service with an iTune-like MP3 store, as well as the ability to upload and stream your own music collection from any web-connected device.

It might sound strange to run two competing music models side by side, but Levine doesn’t see this as a problem. “I do not believe that subscription services cannabilise sales,” she said, before adding that “more of our subscribers buy music after becoming a subscriber than stopped buying music after becoming a subscriber.”

In other words, signing up to Google Music’s unlimited streaming model actually seems to be stimulating download sales rather than eroding them.

Of course, there’s a caveat here, in that Levine didn’t know whether download sales were up on a per-user basis. She did, however, point out that 67 percent of Google Music’s revenue in 2013 came from sales – and with one billion Android users having this as their primary source of music on the go, that’s a sizeable music sales market.

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